Spokane Transit Authority is celebrating Veterans Day today in the best way it knows how: rolling out a new version of the red, white and blue bus.
“This was initiated by some of our employees who have been thinking about this for the past few years since the first Stars and Stripes bus, painted in memory of those lost during 9/11, was retired,” Elizabeth Boushey, STA spokeswoman, announced last week.
She said the employees designed and painted the new version of the Stars and Stripes bus, which goes into regular service this week.
The bus is being unveiled today at an employee ceremony at STA at 8:30 a.m. From there, it will go to the Spokane Arena for Veterans Day activities from 10 to 11 a.m. and then to Felts Field for a ceremony at 1 p.m.
In addition, STA will continue displaying “Remember Our Troops” on regular buses on Fridays and “Support Our Troops” messages on paratransit vans.
STA also has an agency practice during employee meetings of recognizing employees or family members who are deployed overseas.
The yearlong job to build a larger overpass bridge for Francis Avenue east of Market Street is near completion, so the Washington state Department of Transportation has scheduled a “celebration of progress” event for Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Traffic has been using a detour and grade crossing just north of the construction site, but now motorists are going to be allowed to cross on the new bridge.
The 450-foot span replaces the old 160-foot crossing over BNSF Railway tracks. The $14 million project also involved construction of a heavy-duty concrete intersection at Francis and Market.
The new bridge will span relocated rail tracks and the eventual North Spokane Corridor route. Work will now shift to the rail realignment. The bridge is the first of six projects that will extend the corridor to the Spokane River.
Finishing work continues for the next several months along the bridge and Market Street, so traffic will remain limited to a single lane in each direction.
Those attending Friday’s event are asked to carpool because parking will be limited at the west approach to the bridge from Market.
Country Homes light
The intersection of Country Homes Boulevard and Cedar Road finally will get the traffic signal residents have been wanting.
The City Council today is set to approve a $430,000 contract with Arc Electric & Lighting Corp., of Spokane, to install the light.
It’s being financed in part through impact fees collected from new development as well as federal funds and the city’s real estate excise tax.
The impact fees were used for the engineering design.
The light will serve one of the main access roads to Five Mile Prairie as well as office complexes on the east side of the intersection.
Five Mile sidewalks
On Five Mile Prairie, a project to install new sidewalks has forced closure of Johannsen Road near Prairie View Elementary School.
I-90 fixes at Barker
The DOT is warning Spokane Valley-area motorists that it is going to restrict traffic on Interstate 90 from Barker Road to Liberty Lake for two days this week.
The department expects traffic congestion during the work to repair protective cable barriers in the median.
Traffic will be reduced to a single lane westbound on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until about 5 p.m. and eastbound on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leaf pickup begins
In Spokane, street crews started their annual leaf pickup effort Sunday. Residents are asked not to rake leaves into the street. The city provides the cleanup service only for leaves that naturally fall onto the pavement, officials said.
Coeur d’Alene also begins its annual leaf pickup this week, beginning on the south side of the city.
The north lane of West Second Avenue will be closed for four days west of Jefferson Street.
Seventeenth Avenue from Latawah Street to Upper Terrace Road will be closed today through Wednesday for sewer repairs.
The closure of Spokane Falls Boulevard continues this week from Bernard to Washington streets due to hotel construction.
Kendall Yards crews are continuing work on connecting the development’s main access road to Monroe Street, which is causing daytime closures of one southbound lane on Monroe.
Post Street has reopened to one-way northbound traffic next to Riverfront Park and City Hall.
Reconstruction of Third Avenue east of Division Street is substantially complete, but work remains on sidewalks, signs and lane stripes.
U.S. 12 reopens
Heavy rains that pounded the Cascades last summer caused a number of rock slides and washouts.
One of the last storms blew out part of U.S. Highway 12 east of White Pass in Yakima County.
The state last week reported that its contractor, DBM Construction Inc., of Federal Way, has partially finished reconstruction of a 500-foot section of the highway, allowing the route to reopen to two-way traffic.
However, speeds will be limited to 30 mph through the winter. The contractor will finish slope stabilization above the highway next spring.
A wall supporting the highway was reinforced with concrete and 41-foot steel bars.
Traffic has been permitted on a single alternating lane during the work.